Faced with one last bout on his UFC contract, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson says he has no concerns about his future. On Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, the former UFC light-heavyweight champion suggested that his current relationship with the promotion's president Dana White is fine, but insisted that he still plans on testing the free-agent market after the completion of his current deal.
In a one-hour, in-studio interview, Jackson toned down some of his criticisms of the UFC, but said he would like to capitalize on his remaining time in the sport by earning enough money to set up his family far into the future. He also said his competitive fire has been reignited by a desire to prove that he's still one of the sport's best.
During the lengthy interview, Jackson touched on many topics, including his current health situation after withdrawing from a scheduled fight with Glover Teixeira, his views on fame, what he really thinks about current champion Jon Jones, and more.
The following are some of Jackson's sound bytes on various topics.
On injury withdrawal
"You know, in my last fight, I fought injured and had all those problems behind that. I said, I'm not going to risk that again. I said, I'll just pull out of this fight and come back strong. I want my next fight to be as close to 100 percent as possible and show the world what I can do."
On his last opponent, Ryan Bader
"I just regret losing to a person like Ryan Bader. He sucks. He sucks. I’ll say it to his face. He sucks. He talked all that trash on how he was going to knock me out. Obviously he knew I was injured because I didn't make weight. I talked to him man to man and said, 'Look, lets make it an exciting fight.' I knew there was a chance I was going to lose, but I don't want to lose a boring fight in Japan. He made the fight really boring. I got no respect for a guy like that. He sucks."
On why he agreed to fight Glover Teixeira when no one else wanted to
"I fight to pay my bills. I got kids I've got to put through college, and I got some kids I've got to save up for lawyer fees and bail money. I got things. I like to have fast cars and I like the good life. I like to go in the club and make it rain sometimes. So, I don't fight to be famous. I don’t. So, I don’t care if he’s a big name or a little name. I just want to fight, put on an exciting fight and get my bills paid."
On losing some of his passion for the sport
"I lost my love when I lost that Forrest [Griffin] fight. I know that I won that fight. Honestly, I wanted to cry racist stuff. I did want to do that. Us black folks, we're good at that … I know I took the fight lightly. I was like, 'Oh, Forrest.' I didn't train my hardest, I was coming off that Dan Henderson fight and I had just a little injury on my knuckle so I didn't keep up training. It was like, 'Oh Forrest, I’ll just knock this guy out.'"
On the reaction to that loss
"After the fact, I didn't react the way people thought I would. I accepted the defeat. I knew that I won the fight, but said, 'he kicked my butt.' I held my head up high, and I walked out because I didn't want to act the fool. People don't know that when I went back home to Memphis -- I'm from the south -- a lot of white people were coming up to me saying derogatory stuff. There was some racist s--- they were saying. It shows your true colors."
On bias in the UFC
"When I did The Ultimate Fighter with Forrest, and they gave him special treatment, I felt it was racist, but when I did the Ultimate Fighter with Rashad [Evans], it was the same thing, and I was like, 'Oh, couldn't be that, because Rashad's blacker than me. And then I felt it was because they came from The Ultimate Fighter. And that's what it was. I don't think that they screwed me out of that fight with Forrest because I'm black, it's because he’s their baby."
On why his fire is back
"I'm thinking the world hasn’t forgotten about me. I used to be one of the best fighters in the world, and my people out there, they still support me even though I haven't been doing great. It’s giving me back my love for the fight. I want to make the people who still support me proud, and I want to show my family and myself that I can still be one of the best in the world, and I know I can."
On the drawbacks of fame
"Honestly, money's not everything. Honestly, I can say that if I could turn back time, if I could live a normal life with my family, if I could have all my privacy back, I would have stayed a construction worker."
On the positives of what his life turned out to be
"I’m thankful, because, honestly, people don't know this. Maybe I'll write a book or something one day, but I’m not even supposed to be here right now. I was supposed to die a couple times in my life. So, I’m happy. A lot of people in my neighborhood didn't make it or are in prison or stuff like that. I could be one of the guys on a street corner begging. So, don't get me wrong, I'm grateful."
On what's next for him after the final bout on his UFC deal
"Me being a free agent is looking very promising right now. I’m not in a rush. I’m not saying the UFC paid me like a slouch. Honestly the UFC pays me pretty good, I have to admit. I’m not a greedy person. I'm happy with it but like I was saying, it's not worth it for the stuff I have to go through with privacy issues. I'm still going to have that elsewhere, but elsewhere is offering me more money."
On some of Jon Jones' tactics
"Vitor took the fight on short notice, and this is how you respect him, by kicking his knee backwards and stuff like that? He's supposed to be a man of God. You can injure somebody, you can sever their career. You can mess people up for life kicking their knee back like that and he does it repeatedly, over and over. To me that has no honor. I take a lot of honor in fighting. He has no honor."
On wanting another crack at Jones
"He's fake. I don't agree with his fighting style. I think I could beat Jon Jones. I know I can beat him. Jon Jones is the type of of guy you have to fight twice."
On his relationship with Dana White
"Dana’s a cool guy, I’m telling you, but he’s looking out for his brand but what I think they don't understand is that I'm looking out for my brand. After I retire, the UFC is still going to be there. The UFC is going to make money and the UFC will still be going strong after I retire, but after I retire, I have to find other ways to make money. I have to find other ways to put my kids through school, put my son through private school. I have to find other ways to make it rain in the club, but UFC's still going to be going strong."
On whether he's still using TRT
"After the fight, I went back to see my doctor and he took me off of it. I don't need it. I did it, it helped me out and he took me off. I'm not saying I wouldn't go back to it if I needed it again."